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Local invention to help in emergencies

Local invention to help in emergencies


A portable call centre that can connect to any phone technology available has boosted Emergency Management Southland’s capability to respond during civil defence emergencies.

The self-contained device fits into a suitcase and has been dubbed ‘the hedgehog’ – a name it gets from its eight antennae that are tilted upwards to connect it to mobile phone networks.

Emergency Management Southland manager Neil Cruickshank said the hedgehog will help to ensure calls can be made and received by Emergency Management Southland in crisis situations, even if the power is out and part of the network is down. “The hedgehog increases our capability to communicate, which is the key in any civil defence emergency.”

The device connects to both Vodafone and Telecom’s mobile networks and can be plugged into fibre as well as analogue phone lines. “It will serve as a backup in case the existing phone system deals with overload, or we can set it up in a separate location if we have to shift for any reason,” Mr Cruickshank said.

The hedgehog was locally designed and produced in Southland by Jim Carroll of Voicecom Technologies as a plug-in-and-go solution that doesn’t require a technical team to operate it.

ENDS

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